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CuriousCoffee
Senior Member


Joined: 1 May 2014
Posts: 1
Location: USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu May 1, 2014, 12:17pm
Subject: Looking for a grinder
 

I'm looking to start a coffee shop and I am in the stages of sourcing equipment. I am planning on buying the Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II espresso machine which leads me to my current problem. The best machine to grind coffee. This shop aims to sell the best cup of coffee possible, hence the Aurelia II. So I don't mind spending the money necessary to get a top quality product, yet at the same time, I don't really see the point of shelling out $4,000 on a grinder when I am sure that a less expensive one will do the job just as well.

I would ideally like to avoid having to buy one machine for regular and one for decaf, so a dual hopper grinder would be the best. After a bit of reading I think that a conical burr grinder is also the route I want to go in. Unfortunately I do not know much about grinders so I guess that leads me to the following questions:

  1. Just how important is the grinder to the cup of coffee? I would think it would have to rank under quality of the beans, the espresso machine and the barista's skill.
  2. For a shop that plans on serving a high volume of coffee but is very focused on serving high quality coffee, which machines can you guys recommend?

I think that's all for now. Thank you in advance for your responses.
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DanoM
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 394
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega, '84 La...
Grinder: Compak K10, Kludge grinder,...
Posted Thu May 1, 2014, 1:27pm
Subject: Re: Looking for a grinder
 

Of course the beans and water are critical, because if you have poor quality going in you can't get high quality coming out.

The most important piece of equipment you will have is the grinder!  If you want premium quality you need a premium grinder.  You'll need 1 grinder for each type of coffee bean you grind so the adjustments can be precise to that espresso.  (Cafe's that I go to often have Mazzer Robur or something of that level on the counter.)
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,481
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Thu May 1, 2014, 4:08pm
Subject: Re: Looking for a grinder
 

I agree with Dano that you'll want a separate grinder for each type of coffee.  

If you're serving three types of coffees for espresso -- an SO; a blend, good enough to drink black, but with enough power to punch through milk; and a decaf -- you'll want either a "best" grinder for the SO, or two best grinders for the SO and blend.  There's only so far a grinder can take decaf and it makes sense to save a few hundred there.  

In addition you'll need at least one brew grinder.  

The short list of best, "uber-Titan conicals, includes (in alphabetical order)
  • Ceado E92;
  • Compak K10 Fresh and PB;
  • Elektra Nino;
  • Macap M7D; and
  • Mazzer Robur and Robur E.  

Of best Titan flats (only the E43 and Mythos are uber)
  • Anfim Super Caimano
  • Ceado E37s;
  • Compak K8 and K8 Fresh;
  • Mahlkonig K30 Vario;
  • Mahlkonig EK43
  • Mazzer Major and Major E; and
  • Nouva Simonelli Mythos Barista

Electronic, on-demand grinders will suit your needs better than grinders with mechanical, sweeping dosers mounted on the nose.

On-demand grinders are faster in use, and less likely to cause repetitive stress injuries.  The arguments in favor of mechanical dosing machines, less retention and better suitability for single dosing by weight simply do not apply to a commercial situation.  They are, however, less expensive.

I've done a lot of grinder comparison over the last few months (not including the EK43, M7D, or Nino).  Of the grinders I tried, three were better than the rest.  Those were the Ceado E92 (which I bought for my home), the Compak K10 Fresh and Mazzer Robur E.  

My feeling was that the E92 and Robur were identical in the cup, and slightly better than the Compak; but that the Ceado and K10 were about equal in all aspects of usability (including ease of adjustment, messiness, cleaning and maintenance, and better than the Robur E.  However, the Robur E was very slightly faster -- about 4sec for the Robur to grind a double, 4.5sec for the Compak, and 5sec for the Ceado.    

You can't go wrong with any of those three.  

My feeling regarding the flats was that all of them gave up some "high end sparkle" and varietal notes against the best conicals; and that all of those I've tried are indistinguishable from one another in the cup (but better than non-Titans, like the Super Jolly).  Except, that is, for the Mythos Barista which is very close in the cup to the E92 and Robur, but more expensive than the Robur E and considerably more expensive than the Ceado.  

The current "hottest of the hot" grinder choices is the Mahlkonig EK43, however it's very inconvenient to use; and, while a few, influential people argue that it's the best espresso grinder in the world, there are reasons to suppose it's not quite all it's cracked to be.  It was designed to grind spices, not espresso; and, as I said, it's (so I hear) extremely inconvenient to use for espresso.

In my opinion the Nino and Mythos are priced too high in the US to be of serious consideration.  Although, if your Aurelia dealer can help you out with the Mythos it might be a good choice.  FWIW, the Mythos is very popular in Northern Europe.  I read a three owner/barista comparison between it and the E92 on German professional boards, and the E92 was preferred.  I wish I could find them for you, but I can't.    

If you think your customers will be positively affected by brand identification, you probably want all Mazzers or at least some combination of Mazzer and Mahlkonig.  You may want to give the Mazzer Kony some consideration for your lesser grinder(s).  It really doesn't give up that much to the Robur, is smaller than both the Major and Robur, and priced between them.

If I were setting up my own cafe, I'd go all Ceado.  Either two E92s and an E37s, or vice versa.  The US distributor, WLL, is currently discounting them very heavily to get penetration in the North American market.  The E92 is as good as any other grinder in this sector of the galaxy, and I don't see the point of spending more for something which is no better.    

For your brew grinder
  • Bunnzilla (a Bunn G series with Ditting burrs).  Period.  Full stop.  Accept no substitutes.
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,481
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Thu May 1, 2014, 4:14pm
Subject: Re: Looking for a grinder
 

I agree with Dano that you'll want a separate grinder for each type of coffee.  

If you're serving three types of coffees for espresso -- an SO; a blend, good enough to drink black, but with enough power to punch through milk; and a decaf -- you'll want either a "best" grinder for the SO, or two best grinders for the SO and blend.  There's only so far a grinder can take decaf and it makes sense to save a few hundred there.  

In addition you'll need at least one brew grinder.  

The short list of best, "uber-Titan conicals, includes (in alphabetical order)
Ceado E92;
Compak K10 Fresh and PB;
Elektra Nino;
Macap M7D; and
Mazzer Robur and Robur E.  

Of best Titan flats (only the E43 and Mythos are uber)
Anfim Super Caimano
Ceado E37s;
Compak K8 and K8 Fresh;
Mahlkonig K30 Vario;
Mahlkonig EK43
Mazzer Major and Major E; and
Nouva Simonelli Mythos Barista

Electronic, on-demand grinders will suit your needs better than grinders with mechanical, sweeping dosers mounted on the nose.

On-demand grinders are faster in use, and less likely to cause repetitive stress injuries.  The arguments in favor of mechanical dosing machines, less retention and better suitability for single dosing by weight simply do not apply to a commercial situation.  They are, however, less expensive.

I've done a lot of grinder comparison over the last few months (not including the EK43, M7D, or Nino).  Of the grinders I tried, three were better than the rest.  Those were the Ceado E92 (which I bought for my home), the Compak K10 Fresh and Mazzer Robur E.  

My feeling was that the E92 and Robur were identical in the cup, and slightly better than the Compak; but that the Ceado and K10 were about equal in all aspects of usability (including ease of adjustment, messiness, cleaning and maintenance, and better than the Robur E.  However, the Robur E was very slightly faster -- about 4sec for the Robur to grind a double, 4.5sec for the Compak, and 5sec for the Ceado.    

You can't go wrong with any of those three.  

My feeling regarding the flats was that all of them gave up some "high end sparkle" and varietal notes against the best conicals; and that all of those I've tried are indistinguishable from one another in the cup (but better than non-Titans, like the Super Jolly).  Except, that is, for the Mythos Barista which is very close in the cup to the E92 and Robur, but more expensive than the Robur E and considerably more expensive than the Ceado.  

The current "hottest of the hot" grinder choices is the Mahlkonig EK43, however it's very inconvenient to use; and, while a few, influential people argue that it's the best espresso grinder in the world, there are reasons to suppose it's not quite all it's cracked to be.  It was designed to grind spices, not espresso; and, as I said, it's (so I hear) extremely inconvenient to use for espresso.

In my opinion the Nino and Mythos are priced too high in the US to be of serious consideration.  Although, if your Aurelia dealer can help you out with the Mythos it might be a good choice.  FWIW, the Mythos is very popular in Northern Europe.  I read a three owner/barista comparison between it and the E92 on German professional boards, and the E92 was preferred.  I wish I could find them for you, but I can't.    

If you think your customers will be positively affected by brand identification, you probably want all Mazzers or at least some combination of Mazzer and Mahlkonig.  You may want to give the Mazzer Kony some consideration for your lesser grinder(s).  It really doesn't give up that much to the Robur, is smaller than both the Major and Robur, and priced between them.

If I were setting up my own cafe, I'd go all Ceado.  Either two E92s and an E37s, or vice versa.  The US distributor, WLL, is currently discounting them very heavily to get penetration in the North American market.  The E92 is as good as any other grinder in this sector of the galaxy, and I don't see the point of spending more for something which is no better.    

For your brew grinder
  • Bunnzilla (a Bunn G series with Ditting burrs).  Period.  Full stop.  Accept no substitutes; and
  • Baratza Forte B is a very good brew grinder, too.  Unlike the Bunnzilla (or any other bulk grinder) it can be used hopper in.  I understand some cafes are using Forte APs for decaf -- and feel that they're durable enough to switch back and forth between espresso and brew grinds.  

Hope this helps,
Rich
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